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Creating a New Skills Framework for the Digital Economy

In today’s hyper-connected economy, every company is a digital business. Technology professionals play an integral role in driving business outcomes, and that requires a new skills framework. There are new demands for IT expertise in a changing technology environment. For the individual, rapid change is driving the need for continuous skills refresh. For the enterprise, technology expertise must link to business outcomes. For the industry, a new skills framework is needed to develop cross-technology and cross-functional leaders.

The IT jobs of the future are being defined now, but many organizations and individuals are being left in the lurch. In fact, a report from the MIT Center for Digital Business Research found that nearly 80 percent of companies consider missing digital skills to be the key hurdle to digital business transformation.

To overcome this hurdle and stay ahead of disruption, a broader perspective is required – one that goes beyond the traditional infrastructure model. It’s a view not limited to just a network topology or architecture discussion, but rather, one that looks to the opportunities made available through evolving technologies. Additionally, organizations must be able to use these emerging technology trends to drive business outcomes.

Raising the Bar

That’s why Cisco is evolving its certification program to ensure that candidates are prepared for new and changing job roles that unfold with emerging technologies.

Core technology expertise is essential, of course, but practical IT expertise in a single, siloed technology area is no longer a differentiator. IT professionals also must have a clear understanding of the evolving and disruptive technologies that are fueling innovation.

With this evolution of the career certification program, Cisco is ensuring IT professionals are equipped with the skills and education needed for evolving technologies such as Cloud, Internet of Things (IoT), and network programmability. Read More »

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Who to trust in training – what you need to know

The convergence of market transitions, ranging from collaboration and video to virtualization and cloud-based services, is fundamentally changing the way businesses acquire and use technology.

The most successful organizations use training to evolve their practices and seize upon market opportunities, increase growth and build customer retention. In the competitive marketplace, the way to thrive is to arm your employees with the best and most comprehensive skills training.

In fact, certifying the skills of IT staff members is the single biggest predictor of IT project success, according to IDC’s December 2014 report, Market Analysis Perspective: Worldwide and U.S. IT Education and Certification Services.

All training is not equal, however.

A recent survey of Cisco Authorized Learning Partners found that 63 percent of their customers think that unauthorized training is lower priced. When it comes to training, however, the old adage rings true – you get what you pay for.

Read More »

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Collaboration Technologies Can Help Reduce Travel Costs Without Reducing Relationships

Did you know these corporate travel facts?

  • On average, companies spent more than 10% of their total annual budget on expenses related to business travel in 2014, according to Aberdeen.
  • Non-compliance with corporate travel policies is a top-three challenge for 57% of executives surveyed by Travelport.
  • Nearly 85% of respondents to the Travelport survey say rising airfares and hotel rates have negatively affected their corporate travel programs.

One of my favorite things in life is to travel and to explore new places. It’s inspiring and gives me perspective on different regions and lifestyles. That said, business travel can be a far cry from leisure travel.

It’s great to meet customers and partners, and I enjoy dinners with colleagues on the road. But when I travel, my work week gets jumbled by the diversion from my routine. Time changes, the lack of veggies in my diet, and missing my oh-so-comfy bed. There are times when we all have to meet in person. But business travel sometimes exacts a high cost from project deadlines and time-sensitive work.

Honestly, and I know I am not alone, spending time in security checkpoints, then sitting on a plane for hours trying to get comfortable and be productive can be a nuisance.

Travel itself is expensive. Read More »

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The Seven Wonders of User Access Control: Part II

In the first of a two-part blog series, The Seven Deadly Sins of User Access Controls, my colleague Jean Gordon Kocienda provided fresh insights into overly-permissive user access controls as a common underlying cause of data breaches. In this blog, I address the solutions to those “Seven Deadly Sins” with a modern twist on the antiquity typically known as the “Seven Wonders.”

Information Security professionals need to address user access control in the context of today’s complex threats, coupled with a fast changing IT landscape. Long gone are the days of only a few with a need to know and key corporate assets being housed behind the enterprise perimeter. We have shifted to an agile, data-centric environment with increasing user populations who may also be third-party suppliers or contractors needing fast access to assets that were previously off limits. And, it’s not just massive volumes of data that need protecting; it’s access to critical work streams and transactions too.

Read More »

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Cisco Partner Weekly Rewind – February 27, 2015

Partner-Weekly-Rewind-v2Each week, we’ll highlight the most important Cisco Partner Ecosystem news and stories, as well as point you to important, Cisco-related partner content you may have missed along the way. Here’s what you might have missed this week:

Off the Top

CRN announced their annual Channel Chiefs awards this week. Cisco was honored with six executives being named to this year’s list.

Bruce Klein kicked things off this week by congratulating the recipients. I followed up with short features on each of the named Channel Chiefs from Cisco. In case you missed it, there are short features this week on:

Join me in congratulating this year’s Channel Chiefs from Cisco!

Jimmy Kimmel debuts Wall of America

In case you missed Jimmy Kimmel’s show after the Oscars last Sunday, he introduced the “Wall of America.” Built by Cisco, the Wall of America is a giant video collaboration board he used to speak directly with people across America who watched the Academy Awards. For a more in-depth look at the Wall of America, check out Rowan Trollope’s blog Jimmy Kimmel Live Reimagines the Fane Experience with Cisco.

Check out the video and you can learn how to sign up to be on Jimmy’s show via Cisco’s Wall of America! Read More »

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